Target: Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan
Goal: Investigate a vicious attack against a religious community and bring those responsible to justice
After one member of an Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan was accused of blasphemy, a mob burned down his village, killing three people and resulting in many other injuries. Authorities are investigating, but crimes against Ahmadis in Pakistan are often brushed off or ignored. Sign the petition and encourage authorities to make the most thorough and impartial investigation possible into the attack, and to bring those responsible to justice.
Ahmadis consider themselves Muslim, but many other Muslims view Ahmadis as a heretical group. A 1974 Pakistani constitutional amendment made it illegal for Ahamdis to claim to be Muslim, and anti-blasphemy laws are in place to prosecute those who do. The laws violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares that all people have the right to freely express their religious beliefs so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has also stated that “it would be impermissible for any … laws to discriminate in favor of or against one or certain religions or belief systems,” Amnesty International reports.
The attack upon the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan left a grandmother and her two young granddaughters dead of smoke inhalation. Another woman in the community suffered a miscarriage due to smoke inhalation. In addition to the injuries caused by the fire two community members were shot.
Authorities have opened an investigation, which is a promising sign, but crimes against Ahmadis in Pakistan rarely result in arrests and convictions. Sign the petition and urge authorities to continue their investigation into the crimes against the Ahmadiyya community and to bring those responsible for such heinous acts to justice.
Dear Prime Minister,
The July 27th attack against the Ahmadiyya community in Gujranwala has had disastrous and tragic consequences for that community; three people are dead, one woman has miscarried, many others are injured, and property has been damaged and destroyed. I urge you to do all in your power to ensure that those responsible for these heinous and unnecessary acts are found out and brought to justice.
The attack was, of course, the result of one of the Ahmadiyya community members being accused of blasphemy by someone outside the community. The resulting mob violence resulted in a shooting and a fatal fire.
Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are universally-recognized human rights. Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws unfairly favor mainstream Islam over sects like the Ahmadiyya, and due to the general prejudice against Ahmadis, crimes against them too often go uninvestigated and unpunished. I commend the local police for promptly opening an investigation into the attack, but I also urge all the authorities involved to ensure that the perpetrators of this terrible act of cruelty are identified and brought to justice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ceddyfresse via Wikimedia Commons